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Pet Safety Tips for the Holidays

Dog ready for winter

The holiday season is upon us, and for pet owners, it simply would not be the same without our furry family members participating! Holiday celebrations can be full of potential hazards however, from the tree, to the food, and even the plants…

In an effort to ensure that your pooches and felines have a wonderful, stress free, holiday as well, we’ve put together these Pet Safety Tips!

The Tree

Can we really blame our dogs and cats for being fascinated by the tree you set up in the middle of the room, decorated with blinking lights and shiny ornaments? In all honesty, if we were them, we’d want to mess with it too! Being a pet owner doesn’t mean you have to abstain from having a Christmas Tree though, here are some tips to “keep the peace” between your pets and the tree:

Christmas Tree

Give the tree some space: If possible, set up your Christmas Tree in a corner, or another room where your pets don’t frequent. If this isn’t possible, or isn’t enough to discourage your pet, you can set up a pet gate, or even decorate lower branches with aluminum foil, bottles filled with knick knacks, or other noise makers to give you an early warning when your pet is considering messing with the tree.

Make sure you pick the right tree stand: One of the most common mistakes people make when decorating their Christmas Tree is picking a tree stand that is too small for the tree. Make sure to pick a stand that is sturdy and anchors the tree in place so that it won’t fall and potentially injure your pet.

Hang dangerous decorations high up: Things like tinsel, salt ornaments, and glass ornaments can be especially dangerous for your pet. Keeping these out of reach of your pet can dramatically reduce the chances of them getting hurt or eating something that may make them sick.

Clean up pine needles quickly: Pine needles can be incredibly dangerous to your pet if ingested. For this reason, it’s a very good idea to clean them up regularly.

Don’t let your pet drink the tree water: In addition to containing pine tree sap that leaches out of the tree, tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria that could make your pet very sick. If they really need a drink, lead them back to their bowl.

Other Decorations

Your house has looked pretty much the same all year, so introducing all of these decorations can be fascinating to your pets. While some decorations are harmless, others can make your pet very sick. Here are a few that you might want to avoid:

Cat playing with Christmas ornament

Tinsel: Cats especially are mesmerized by the shiny tinsel. While it may be cute to watch them play with it, playing tends to lead to eating, and tinsel can be very dangerous once ingested. Our recommendation is to avoid tinsel if at all possible.

Poinsettias, Mistletoe, & Holly: While very pretty, these plants can cause gastrointestinal upset and even cardiovascular issues if ingested. Opt for artificial mistletoe and holly for a safe, but just as festive, decoration.

Edible Decorations: Whether they’re salt ornaments, popcorn strings, or candy canes, these decorations may be too much for your pet to ignore! If you’re using these decorations, make sure they are well out of your pet’s reach. Ingesting edible decorations can lead to obstructions, and even poisoning.

Lit Candles: How many times has your dog knocked something off your coffee table with their tail? How often do you end up picking up something your cat intentionally knocked on the floor? Lit candles can be incredibly dangerous and present a serious Fire risk. Whenever lighting candles, be sure to keep them out of your pet’s reach, and away from anything that may be flammable (such as other decorations).

Food & Sweets

We’ve all succumbed to *that* look from our pets, but while it may be tempting to share your holiday treats with your dog or cat, it’s much safer for them to stick to food and treats specifically made for them.

Christmas Cookies

Make sure everyone knows not to share human food with your pet: This can be tough, especially during the holidays, but it’s important to stress this to any family or friends that may come to your house to celebrate. Not everyone knows what is and is not safe for your pets, so they’re much safer sticking to their own food.

Keep human food away from your pets: Some pets will go to great lengths to have a taste of what you’re eating! Keep food out of their reach, and secure garbage cans so that they can’t help themselves.

Make sure your pet has a good time too!

Family get togethers and holiday parties are exciting for you and your pet! Whether your pet loves company or becomes a bit nervous around new people, take steps to make sure they can have a good time too.

Dog at Christmas

Designate a “Safe Space” for Your pet: While your pets are probably having a great time meeting everyone and socializing, sometimes they need a quiet space to distance themselves from the festivities. Try setting up their bed in another room so that they have somewhere to go when the party gets to be too much for them.

Get them a new toy: A new toy can give your dog or cat a way to burn off some of the energy they’re sure to have when people start arriving. This allows them to relax a bit more and gives them something to preoccupy themselves with once everyone is there and things become a bit less exciting to them.

Maintain their routine as best as possible: Some pets really like their routines and may have set meal and bed times. Messing with this schedule can make them a bit anxious, so try to keep their routine as much as possible. If your party runs late, you may want to set up their bed in another room so that they can keep their bedtime schedule.

Let your guests know about the house rules: If your dog or cat doesn’t get table scraps, be sure to tell your guests. This can be particularly important since some food and sweets can be extremely dangerous for your pets.

From our family here at Disaster Blaster, we wish you and your fur-babies a wonderful and safe holiday!

As always, should you ever have a need for our services, please don’t hesitate to call your local Disaster Blaster!

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